by Dr. Asma Khan
No matter what grade your child is about to enter, there’s always a long checklist of things to get done before the new school year starts. One item you should always have on that list is his or her yearly check-up. While it may not seem as urgent as back-to-school shopping for clothes and supplies, an annual check-up will ensure your child or teen is on track for a healthy, successful academic year.
Why Check-Ups are Important
A yearly back-to-school check-up allows your family physician the chance to give your child a thorough physical examination, and address any emotional, developmental, or social concerns he or she may have. If you have a teen, the check-up is also a good opportunity for him or her to ask any confidential health questions, including topics like drinking, drug-use, sex, and depression.
What Do They Include?
In addition to providing health-related guidance and advice, a physical exam should include:
- Heart and blood pressure monitoring
- Recording height and weight
- Checking the lungs, abdomen, ears, nose, and throat
- Vision screening
- Diabetes, cholesterol, and anemia testing
The continuity of regular check-ups is very important, as having a long-term medical history will keep the doctor aware of your child’s progress and development. This will help to detect any emerging issues over time.
The Young Athlete
If your child or teen plans on playing any sports during the school year, he or she may need to have a physical completed that addresses sports-specific issues. These include past sport-related injuries, asthma and allergies, and an evaluation of strength and flexibility. Additionally, the doctor may have some good training tips or exercises that will help your child or teen avoid injury in the future.
At the end of the exam, the doctor will sign a form that indicates your child is in good health, or may recommend additional tests or specific treatment.
Check-Ups: What You Need to Know
For a healthy lifestyle, your child needs a good balance of home, school, sports, and social activities. This isn’t always easy, especially during adolescence. A yearly physical exam will help make sure he or she is meeting important milestones, and give your child or teen the opportunity to learn more about what’s changing in his or her body.
Give your child a healthy start to the school year with a back-to-school check-up! Make an appointment with your family physician or pediatrician today or come see us at HRHCare Urgent Care!
Asma Khan, MD, is the Clinical Director at HRHCare Urgent Care, 84 N Highland Ave between High Street and Sickles Ave in Nyack. Along with offices in Haverstraw and Spring Valley, the facility is part of the 28 health center HRHCare network in the Hudson Valley and Long Island providing comprehensive primary care.
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